A different type of March Madness

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A dark cloud has formed over the landscape of college basketball. Recent allegations have risen out of the shadows about college basketball teams breaking the rules in regard to securing recruits and helping maintain players’ eligibility. Before schools like Arizona, Michigan State, North Carolina,. etc started to raise suspicion it all started with the Louisville’s mens’ basketball team. Louisville was in a lot of hot water with the allegations of the team breaking NCAA rules in order to gain commitments from top ranked recruits. Two scandals including the incidents involving stripper parties which caused the Cardinals to deduct wins from the 2011 through 2015 season. And to top it all off, last week the NCAA took away the 2013 NCAA Championship resulted in the third banner in the program’s history to be taken down.

That enough was a hard pill to swallow, but not only did the Cardinals lose their wins and championship, but late last year, they lost their beloved coach Rick Pitino, along with the athletic director Tom Jurich. Allegedly, recruits were enticed to commit to the UofL with strippers and the promise of sex with recruits and players. Katina Powell was the ringleader behind the parties happening in dorm rooms on the campus. She would later speak of these events in a book, where she mentioned that she was “being paid to hold these parties for the players and recruits.” But that was not the end of the Cardinals troubles. With the involvement of the FBI, later findings would show that Adidas, on behalf of the University of  Louisville had paid the father of five star recruit Brian Bowen in exchange for his son’s commitment to the school. However, as of last week, Louisville is not the only school to be in hot water for allegedly paying for commitments.

Other schools in the mix include North Carolina State and their alleged payment for breakout rookie Dennis Smith Jr., before his time at the school, along with Isaiah Whitehead receiving a five figure payment during his time at Seton Hall.  But the most recent innocent in regards to the alleged payment to secure recruits would be at the University of Arizona. The situation at Arizona claims that the FBI wiretapping intercepted telephone conversations involving  head coach Sean Miller and a man by the name of Christian Dawkins. During the telephone it is alleged that Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure the 7’1” superstar’s commitment to Arizona. No sanctions have been enforced upon the University of Arizona at this time. The incidents do not only involve payment or promised gifts to bag recruits,  how about a University using an academic fraud scheme to ensure the eligibility of their players? Over at the University of North Carolina findings would show that there had been “fake” classes that would be ensure that the athletes would be able to play. Even though there were no sanctions against the school for regular students had the ability to take said classes, who’s to say that the same situation is not happening at other universities? But this investigations have shown that at these basketball universities, there is a dark side.

The future of college basketball, as of now, seems very bleak with many of the “blue blood” programs being linked to FBI investigations. The FBI has proven that they will stop at nothing until the landscape of college basketball is washed away with the people who are rocking it at its core. It is heartbreaking to the players who are punished for the actions of few and to have things, like National Championships, taken away. The hopes of the FBI and for many people who love and cherish college basketball is that this dark cloud that has formed will soon break into clear skies and sunshine. But until then, anyone’s favorite team could be on the chopping block.  download (2)

CHS theater department presents “Legally Blonde” the musical

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Following their production of “Zombie Prom”, the theater department will perform “Legally Blonde” starring junior Ari Hart as Elle Woods. Opening night will be Wednesday, March 14, and continue through Sunday, March 18.

Theater Director Dan Bullington believes the production is unique to the area. Bullington said, “We have a lot of girls involved in theater and there are a lot of girl roles. It’s based around a sorority and the main character is a girl. It’s also a fun show, and it’s contemporary. No one else is doing it around here.”

The play is an exciting  musical rendition of the film, that has a very similar plot to the film. Ari Hart  said, “It’s really great being the lead because it’s a dream role for me.” The Clarksville theater department plans on putting on an entertaining production with the help of an experienced director and a dedicated cast.

Clarksville’s theater department considers themselves a close-knit, family like group that has real chemistry. Senior Baily Gravely said, “What I like about being in plays is that everyone that is on the cast becomes like my family.”

Opening night, the theater department will be holding a spaghetti dinner before the show. The dinner will begin at 5 p.m., and tickets for the dinner and play admission will cost $20. After the dinner, the show will begin at 7 p.m.. General admission tickets, without the spaghetti dinner, will cost $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.

Lavar Ball’s unorthodox methods cause controversy in the sports world

Lavar Ball is the father of professional basketball players Lonzo, LiAngelo and Lamelo Ball. However, his depiction should go much farther than just the father of basketball players. Lavar Ball is a businessman, who over the past few months has put some serious plans into motion. In June, Lavar’s oldest son Lonzo Ball was drafted second overall in the NBA draft to the Los Angeles Lakers. In October, Lavar removed his youngest son Lamelo Ball from Chino Hills High School to be homeschooled, in order to focus on developing as a basketball player. Lavar’s middle son LiAngelo, was arrested for shoplifting in China in November. At the time, he was a part of the UCLA men’s basketball team. After being suspended indefinitely, Lavar pulled him from school as well. Lavar devised a plan for LiAngelo and Lamelo to play professional basketball for Vytautas Prienai–Birštonas in the Lithuanian Basketball League, where they are currently playing.

After pulling two of his three sons from their schools, Lavar Ball now has put in motion a plan to start his own basketball league, the Junior Basketball Association. The JBA will consist of eight teams, made up of top high school prospects that don’t want to go to college before they go to the NBA. These top prospects that would rather play in the JBA instead of college will be able to be paid to play in this league. This idea is genius. Senior Christian Stewart said, “I think it’s a great idea. College athletes should be getting paid anyway, they produce extreme amounts of revenue every year and I think Lavar is capitalizing on it.” This new league has potential to be an enormous organization, and could change the game of basketball forever.

The NCAA has extremely strict policies against paying student athletes. For many top high school prospects, college is simply a gateway into the NBA and not a place to get an education. With the JBA, this allows these players to bypass college and immediately get paid to play. Sophomore Richard Wheatley said, “This is a great idea. Everybody doesn’t want to go to college and this provides a great opportunity for those players.”

The league is intended to consist of 80 players on ten teams. The teams will play in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Dallas. If top high school prospects gravitate toward the JBA, as an alternative to collegiate basketball, it could change the game forever. Lavar has claimed the lowest ranked player in this league will be paid $3,000 a month, and the highest ranked player will be paid $10,000 a month. If top prospects choose the JBA over the traditional route, the level of elite competition could potentially become significantly lower in collegiate basketball.

The JBA, like any other newly founded organization, has its critics, who mostly believe the traditional college route is the more promising. Senior Jalen Valentine said, “College is the better choice between the two because basketball isn’t always promised. The JBA doesn’t provide an education if basketball doesn’t work out.” However, the JBA’s target players are looking to get to the NBA and don’t necessarily care about the education.

Only a small portion of top recruits for the class of 2019 have committed to schools to attend once they have graduated. If players in this class such as Vernon Carey Jr. and James Wiseman agree to compete in the JBA, other players could begin to follow suit. With the  incentive of payment available, it is very likely that players will begin to favor this league over college. Student athletes, for all sports, deal with exhausting schedules everyday and this league can provide some of these players with an opportunity to avoid that. For some top recruits whose main objective is to get to the NBA, this league is a great solution. They can earn the money they rightfully deserve while focusing on their craft.

So far the JBA does not have any teams, but the league is still in its early stages of development. The potential of this league is enormous. Lavar Ball is a genius in his own right, and is doing an impeccable job of growing and marketing his own brand.

2018 Basketball Homecoming Court

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Clarksville 2018 Basketball Homecoming Court

Ninth grade front row: Michael S., Shelby H.. Summer H., and Cameron C. Tenth grade second row: Emily C., Kohe Q., Madilyn H., and Reece H. Eleventh grade third row: Tayllor M., Bryce J., Hayden P., and Dee S. Seniors back row: Michael J., Kamren C., Chris W., Kelly M., Charles C., and Kaycee G.

Homecoming Festivities begin with the JV game at 6.

The importance of zoos

The zoo is a place where families and friends alike can travel to see their favorite animals up close. Some may argue that zoos are bad and promote the imprisonment of animals for entertainment. Although these creatures are locked inside and do serve the purpose of entertainment, the bigger picture is to educate, conserve, and research.  Zoos have been viewed as bad because of videos shared on social media, as well as personal ideologies about the cruelty of holding animals in captivity. Although these may paint a bad picture of zoos, behind those unsettling videos of animal treatment is the true purpose of these places.

Personally I feel that false labels of a zoo being “bad” or a “prison” are not accurate at all. Zoos have leaned away from the reputation of the past. The purpose of a zoo is not merely all entertainment. Zoos have evolved to focus on teaching the individual about the importance of caring for these animals. Sure, individuals can still go to the zoo and be entertained by the shows put on by the zoo keepers and the select animals. But during those shows the zoo keeper is educating the audience about the animal being put on display. And sure, the animals are locked up in habitats, but in a prison setting those in charge  do not care about what the inmate does. While in a zoo setting, the keepers are employed because they care for the animals and want to help them. An individual can not judge hundreds of zoos just because he or she saw a video on social media of one isolated incident.

At a zoo, most likely, there will be tests performed to further enhance the knowledge of the workers about the animals in the proximity. These tests have a specific purpose behind them. The tests could include ones that will help the worker better understand the behavior of the animals, help enhance the knowledge of nutrition and medicine, and get one step closer to conserving these animals.  In addition, there are breeding programs to help keep the population of certain species from dwindling to lower rates than what they already are. So how can something like that be labeled “bad” or a “prison?”

In all honesty, a zoo cannot be labeled as these negative things. I could understand if the workers did not care or the zoo did not try to help conserve these animals, or even educate these individuals about these animals and why it is important to care for them. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Complacency hinders success of student-athletes

sports column by Darius Booth

In the world of high school sports it is easy to become complacent. For most student athletes, their respective sport is not their priority. While some high school sports stars are bound to play at the next level, the majority are not so fortunate in this regard. With that said, it becomes easy for players to not focus on the competitive nature of the sport, especially in a small school system.

In a small school system, expectations are generally low for sports teams. With these low expectations, players often don’t take the sport seriously. More often than not, these sports are just hobbies for players, instead of being something the players are passionate about. Without passion, student athletes often lack the desire to win. Senior Kaycee Grant said, “Competitive sports require you to be competitive. Without the desire to win a team will have trouble being successful.” It simply is not easy to win, if the athlete’s goal is not to win.

Complacent student athletes generally only play for the fun of the sport. While there is no fault in that, it can often translate to a lack of success during the team’s season. A team with players who enjoy playing and also have a desire to win, are more likely to be successful. Senior Christian Stewart said, “Complacency is the worst thing for any sports team. If you don’t work hard everyday with a purpose, you won’t get the results you want. You can lose to less talented teams and won’t be able to compete with more talented teams.” Driven athletes, who refuse to become complacent, generally have the ability to improve. This improvement can be translated over the course of a season, or multiple seasons, but the complacency of some student athletes can deter this development altogether.

In order to have success as a team, winning must be a priority. If the team has a hunger to win games and constantly improve, that will be the results they get. Every team simply isn’t capable of winning every game, however if a team wants to be successful they must want to continue to always improve. Playing together as a team and bettering as a team are two of the things that are seemingly mandatory to being successful. Senior Justice Webber said, “If a team doesn’t have the desire to win they do not love the sport. Players who love the sport are team players who will do what it takes to win.” Players who aren’t concerned with winning, can seriously hurt a team’s chance of winning.

If a team consists of players that are not passionate about the sport, it is likely they will suffer through their season. Improvement will likely be minimal, and the loss totals will accumulate quickly over the years as opponents better themselves. Players with desire and passion for their respective sport, are more likely to work harder and play harder, which can translate to more success. Regardless of skill, a player with a real desire to win can never be at a disadvantage to a player without it.


Is Water Wet?

Recently, there has been a major controversy surrounding something that was once thought to be obvious. On social media websites like Twitter and Facebook, people have been posting something that was once considered blasphemous. Some people now believe that water is not wet, that it only makes other objects wet. They believe that water itself is not wet, that wet is what we describe our experience with water.

When most people initially heard about this theory, they were surprised. The argument for the side that believes water is wet is that it makes other objects wet so that itself is a wet substance. They believe that when an object is submerged in water that it is not wet until it comes out of the water. However, there are questions that can argue against this statement. When you step in a puddle of water, your shoe becomes wet while you are stepping in the puddle, and after you step outside of the puddle. So there is nothing else, other than the water that could have made your shoe wet, so water is wet. However, according to Google, water is not wet. Google states that wetness is just a description of the way we interpret water. Those that say water is wet state that they are simply appealing to logic, not the scientific argument.

This controversy has caused a major divide among students at Clarksville High School. Both sides of the argument believes that the other is ignorant and unreasonable for their stance. A poll was conducted about this vital issue. Out of the 50 students polled, 27 said water is wet and 23 said water is not wet. During the administration of this poll tensions ran high, arguments struck up between opposing sides with some students becoming offended.

Surprisingly, students have very strong opinions on this topic. Some students are so distraught by this significant question that it is difficult to even take a side. Sophomore Richard Wheatley said “Water is sometimes wet, and sometimes it isn’t. It depends on the surface that the water is on. In general however, I’m going to go with yes, water is wet. After you get out of the shower, your hair and body is wet. When you use a towel to dry off, the towel becomes damp. So the only thing that could make the towel wet would be the water.”

The fact is that this will continue to be an ongoing discussion in our nation and school for a long time to come. It appears that neither side is willing to change their opinion nor listen to reason, no matter what science or logic says. There are also many other questions that have been struck up that are similar to this that are also causing question. Including “Is air dry?” and “Is there one or two holes in a straw?” are questions that are also beginning causing conflict. It seems that these questions will never have an answer that people can agree on.

So readers, what do you think? Leave your comments and add to the social media conversation. Comments should be school appropriate.